Frustrated shoppers in east end of Timmins petition Metro for a grocery store
TIMMINS -- The Porcupine Mall is the only mall serving more than 7,000 people in its vicinity, but a year ago, Metro closed its grocery store in the building.
On the advice of Mayor George Pirie, some frustrated shoppers have started a petition and so far, nearly 1,000 people have signed.
"Petitions seem to make action and hopefully this will get Metro moving on doing something or even responding as to why we're not getting a store," said Theresa Rycaj, one of three women administering the petition. "I mean, it's been a year and nothing's been done whatsoever."
While other stores in the mall and surrounding area have picked up the slack, some locals say there's no fresh meat, produce or other items only a grocery store carries.
"It's ridiculous," said Bryce Kulik, who's lived in the east end all his life. "There's no excuse for closing that store. It was busy enough. So why don't we have one? And when you get to corporate office --well we don't want to talk about it.
"And I didn't know, but the grocery store owns the mall, too, so basically they can do what they want."
Nowhere else to go
Another neighbour, Joyce, who only wanted to use her first name, said: "It's nice to have the grocery store and the convenience to pick up the things you need, and what about Connaught and Barber's Bay? They've got no place where they can go neither."
A Timmins councillor said with Metro owning the Porcupine Mall, it's unlikely it'll allow a competitor inside.
"Everything's sitting in their corner," said Coun. John Curley. "We know we have the community and you have the mayor and council's supporting something to be done in this area, so let's just hope they will come on board and at least -- and I'm saying this dearly -- at least contact the mayor."
In an email to CTV News, Metro said there wasn't enough demand to operate the store.
"The Porcupine Mall location did not have enough traffic coming through the store for it to keep it open," said Stephanie Bonk, communications manager for Metro. "At this time, there are no plans about Porcupine Mall to communicate."
Rycaj said once they get 1,000 on their online petition, they will be out "pounding the pavement" to get more on paper.